The Green Bay Packers missed the playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade last year, breaking a streak of nine straight playoff appearances dating back to 2009. It took a broken collarbone for Aaron Rodgers to do it, however, and the team still managed to stay alive in the race until a loss upon Rodgers’ return in week 15.
However, online sportsbooks like the team’s chances of returning to the postseason in 2018 after just a one-year hiatus.
BetOnline.AG published their playoff odds lines this week, and they have the Packers listed at -170 to make the playoffs. This line means that a bet of $170 is required to earn a payout of $100, and it corresponds to a 60.2% chance of making the postseason. Conversely, one could bet on the Packers to miss the playoffs and get +140 odds (bet $100 to win $140).
(It should be noted, of course, that betting lines are adjusted not necessarily for realistic chances, but to reflect betting trends. The Packers are often given more favorable odds for the book because they tend to be a favorite of the betting public.)
This puts the Packers squarely in second place in the NFC North. The Vikings have the best chance per these odds, sitting at -260 (65.3% chance), while the Lions (+260, 26%) and Bears (+450, 17.2%) lag quite a ways behind.
In all honesty, saying that the Lions have just over a 25% chance of making the postseason seems like a very low estimate. Detroit nearly made the playoffs last year with a 9-7 record, finishing one game back of the Atlanta Falcons for the final wild card spot. While the NFC South claimed three playoff spots last year, it seems entirely plausible that the North division could land both Wild Cards in 2018.